As a Nutrition major, I spend the majority of my day learning about food. In my classes I’m learning about the nutrients in food and how they benefit our bodies. I’m learning about “how to design a colorful plate” and how to present appetizing menus. I’m learning the “art” of cooking and how the body breaks down vitamins and minerals. I’m learning to appreciate the food I put inside my body, because it’s my fuel for life.
I’m also a typical college aged girl, and okay let’s be real, I’m pretty picky about my food choices. My friends will be the first to tell you that at a restaurant, I’m kind of a pain. I’m definitely “that girl”. A typical restaurant encounter with Jenna Le might sound a little like this: “I’ll have the burrito, but on a wheat tortilla, and can you put a little extra chicken on it? and just a TINY bit of rice—TINY! and then a lot of lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, cheese, oh wait not cheese how about guac instead, oh and a side of guac too!, and a lot of salsa, and that’s it (smile) thank you verrrrry much. Oh wait and I want to add some chips too. Thank you!” And that would probably be an easy day.
In my life, I can afford to be picky. I have an abundance of food and plenty of healthful choices. I throw away leftovers without a second thought. I trash a loaf of bread that isn’t just bakery fresh. But isn’t it humbling to hear that 16.7 million children right here in OUR OWN COUNTRY would be overjoyed to have a loaf of my nasty hard bread for their breakfast? And that’s just the children here in the U.S. An estimated 925 million people in this world are hungry. Can you imagine?
Food is fuel for life. When there is so much excess food in this world, it’s just crazy that so many people are lacking safe and nutritious food. Lack of food, especially in childhood, leads to numerous physical and mental diseases. Children who grow up hungry don’t develop the same learning and social skills and children who are fed. Their brains need food to think and stay focused. Their physical development is also impaired, and they are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. No child should have to face these issues simply because they are hungry. It’s the same with adults. Hungry people can’t fully live life, because their bodies just aren’t equipped for it. An average sized adult, laying down all day with zero physical activity, needs at least 1500 calories a day just to maintain all metabolic functions. That doesn’t include any physical activity. The bodies’ of the hungry population cannot survive without this energy. No one deserves to spend this life only halfway living. This is Why I Care.
Written by Jenna Le Heard, Student at Auburn University